Dec 12, 17 / Cap 10, 01 19:21 UTC
Mudras / Hand Seals ¶
Perhaps it is the perfectionist side of me, but I enjoy the idea of over-studying, and would like to recommend a resource. Firstly, though, simply looking up the nature of gestures in general is a good start(although I am wary of historical, written-by-the-victor bias potential in any subject), so perhaps even the Wikipedia "Gesture" article is a decent place to begin.
The resource I'd like to mix in is Taoist/Daoist magic/alchemy. I'd like to preface that I am primarily agnostic in belief, but certain metaphysical studies I find very worthy, if alone for mental training(though I "do" believe a controllable life-force energy is within us, and it can be trained - I would call utilization of that force "magic" for sure). I'm sure you've heard of mantras like "Om", and a mudra is a hand gesture. The following is a rogue PDF that is currently google-searchable, so perhaps buying the book officially would be respectful(Author seems to deserve it): http://thekingdomwithin.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/159344498-Copy-of-Jerry-a-Johnson-Daoist-Magical-Incantations-Hand-Seals-And-Star-Stepping.pdf
The author is Jerry Alan Johnson, who made a series of "Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy" books(he recommends volumes 1-3 as most practical, the rest are especially medical-oriented. They have been renamed to "Chinese Energetic Medicine") and then he moved on to Taoist Magic, which is what that book is a part of.
I simply recommend taking a look at the meaning of the mudras for inspiration, or to compare to gestures in other cultures to see what overlaps or what are complete opposites. The "technical" side of me would recommend taking even metaphysical definitions over social/cultural ones. For example, if a gesture is renowned for being "greatly offensive" to many cultures of the world, that is a social reason. If it was considered to have a different purpose through the ages, possibly even through many parts of the world(even isolated, uncommunicative regions), and it was non-offensive... I'd take the "crazy esoteric" version over the social one.